Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments of YouTube Millionaires here.
The daily vlog format can be a grind, but Mark Dohner soldiers on. The 23-year-old gained prominence as a Vine star, but of late, he has excelled on YouTube, where his cheerful, honest videos connect with his million-plus fans. Now that Dohner has achieved his gold play button milestone, we spoke to him about his tips for staying upbeat on the internet.
Tubefilter: How does it feel to have one million subscribers? What do you have to say to your fans?
Mark Dohner: It’s a rewarding feeling being able to connect with and have such an influence on more than a million people each day. I never thought I would be able to inspire so many people to chase their dreams and the #DOHNATION is who inspires me to continue creating each day. Seeing such positive comments keeps me going and drives me to work harder and harder on each video to continue to influence such a great audience.
TF: Why do you think your channel’s popularity has exploded in the way it has?
MD: Consistency. Quality. Editing. Motivation. Positivity. A great group of friends. And most importantly, an active and loving fanbase.
TF: With so many vloggers on YouTube, what would you say makes you unique?
MD: I would say my structure of storytelling and the quality of my vlogs makes me unique in my own way. I’ve developed a “show” essentially that has a very specific format and each shot is planned carefully. I also incorporate a lot of cinematic scenes in my vlogs as well as starting to create original songs that add to the flow of each episode.
TF: What do you think is the number-one tip you would give to a vlogger who is just starting out on YouTube?
MD: Don’t stop posting. A lot of people get discouraged when they aren’t growing “fast” enough or aren’t getting enough views. The most important thing about YouTube is staying consistent and never getting discouraged. Also, surround yourself with people that are interested in the same sort of entertainment as you. With all of my friends creating each day, it inspires me to work just as hard and put in time and effort daily.
TF: Does the grind of posting a new video every day get tiring? How do you deal with burnout?
MD: Absolutely. It’s a very, very tiring process. It’s a very challenging process to be creative each day and develop a new and entertaining storyline throughout the day. The hours are brutal. I go to bed at around 1 am after a full day of vlogging and editing at night, then wake up at 6 am and edit until I post at noon or 1 pm. Then it’s back to starting to vlog again for the next day. It’s a never ending process of work and challenging yourself creatively. I have had several burnouts and shut downs where I have to take a day off, but to prevent those I sometimes try to create a vlog centered around a topic where I can just film for a couple of hours and get a whole vlog, then I can relax for a little bit. The grind DOES NOT STOP.
TF: How do you decide which details to share with your fans and which ones to keep private?
MD: I share a lot of my personal life with my fans. I am always having a positive attitude and never bring negativity to the vlog. It’s all about good vibes for me. If something negative happens or if I’m feeling a little upset about something, I’ll leave that out. I also like to finish vlogging during the day and leave the camera at home during the night when I go out with my friends and have a good time.
TF: Where is one destination you have not yet traveled to that you would like to visit?
MD: I would love to travel to Greece. I see a lot of pictures from there and it looks amazing.
TF: As someone who is present all over social media, how do you see the industry changing over the next five years?
MD: The industry has changed a lot already. I’ve already seen social media shift in the short amount of time it’s been alive. It all started with MySpace, then everyone went to Facebook, then people got on YouTube, then it went to Vine, then everyone left Vine for Instagram videos and Facebook, now everyone is back on YouTube and Instagram. It keeps shifting and will continue to shift. Instagram is visual and easily accessible and YouTube is more of a personal connection to the viewers.
I think the people go where the creators are going, and right now, YouTube’s model is changing with the situations with ad revenue so I see people starting to shift yet again. It seems like each social media outlet is trying to put the other one out of business, which could lead to a sole platform taking over and dominating the industry or the ultimate downfall of social media. The competition between platforms is real.
TF: What’s next for your channel? Any fun plans?
MD: I like where my channel is at right now and ultimately I would love to start posting more documentary style videos on there to showcase my storytelling. I’d really like to draw awareness to certain things happening in the world today and several struggles that people are facing. I love human interest stories. For example, I want to make a meaningful piece about my grandmother who has Alzheimer’s, to draw awareness to the disease and generate emotion to viewers. I want to bring new viewpoints to viewers and change the world for the better.